Breath tests on Durham club doors after student river deaths

SEARCH TEAMS: Police from the Marine Unit on Framwelgate Bridge in Durham on Friday after they were called following the discovery of Euan Coulthard in the water nearby.
SEARCH TEAMS: Police from the Marine Unit on Framwelgate Bridge in Durham on Friday after they were called following the discovery of Euan Coulthard in the water nearby.
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BARS will breathalyse young revellers after three students lost their lives after nights out in Durham.

Anyone more than twice the drink drive limit will be turned away from venues as part of an action plan to tackle the city’s drinking culture.

Officials have met to put together the work which will be carried out in the wake of the latest tragedy, when Euan Coulthard, 19, who was studying law at St Mary’s College, was found in the River Wear more than a week after he went missing after a friend’s birthday celebrations.

Sope Peters and Luke Pearce, who were also undergraduates at Durham, were also recovered from the water after they disappeared after drinking in the city’s bars.

Just days after Euan was found, another student was pulled from the river in a rescue.

Other plans include setting up a drunk tank equipped with first, extra guidance to door staff on not allowing those who they believe are too drunk into venues, a volunteer scheme which will see people reach home safely and a night bus for students.

Taxi firms are also being consulted on ways to improve safety, with an education scheme to run to reduce the risks of students getting into difficulties.

A safety review of the river has also been arranged with RoSPA.

The social norms campaign, funded by £50,000 from Durham County Council’s public health service, is in development.

Chairman of the City Safety Group, Terry Collins, said: “I am sure this demonstrates the wide-range of actions which have been undertaken within just a few days as well as the importance of partnership working in tackling the complex issues which comprise city safety.

“However it is extremely important to bear in mind that the agencies and organisations involved can work together to implement a whole range of changes and improvements in city safety but none will replace the need for people to take responsibility for how much they drink.”

The City Safety group, which has put together the plans, brings together Durham County Council, Durham Constabulary, Durham University, Durham Students’ Union and Durham Cathedral.